Father of deceased worker in LyondellBasell chemical leak files lawsuit

Chemical leak at LyondellBasell in La Porte (KPRC)

HOUSTON – The father of one of the two workers who died following a chemical leak at the LyondellBasell Industries in La Porte on July 27 has filed a lawsuit against the company in Harris County.

According to a release from Abraham Watkins Law Firm, the father of deceased worker Shawn Andrew Kuhleman is alleging “negligence, gross negligence and wrongful death claims against LyondellBasell Acetyls, LLC, Lyondell Chemical Company and Equistar Chemicals, LP.”

Before the deadly incident, attorneys said LyondellBasell became aware of the leak in the Acetyls Unit and called a company that specializes in sealing and repairing industrial leaks.

“After the company recommended that LyondellBasell have the leak repaired, Lyondell chose not to have the company repair the leak at that time and instead called other contractors,” the lawsuit stated.

According to LyondellBasell, nearly 100,000 pounds of acetic acid was released.

The lawsuit claims Shawn was exposed to harmful and toxic chemicals that burned his body internally and externally.

“Mr. Kuhleman was overcome by the toxic chemicals and sadly died at the LyondellBasell La Porte Complex as a result of the massive and harmful chemical leak,” the lawsuit stated.

Shawn’s father, Steven Kuhleman, is seeking aggregate monetary relief over $1,000,000.00 for negligence, gross negligence, and wrongful death, according to the lawsuit.

“Shawn was only 32 years old. He was a wonderful father, husband, son, brother, friend, and co-worker, and he was dearly beloved by all who knew him. Shawn’s family is devastated, misses him terribly, and is in search of answers and accountability for his senseless and horrific death “said Jacob Paschal, one of the attorneys for Steven.

Shawn’s family said he was laid to rest on Aug. 3, 2021, in Arlington.

Abraham Watkins also represents the family of the other worker killed in this incident, Dustin Day, and several other who were injured during the chemical leak.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world and owns 18 locations in Texas, according to its website. The company says it sells products in more than 100 countries and is the world’s largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.


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